March 2023 remains the darkest month for Kenyan media since the clamour for multiparty democracy. We have so far documented 25 cases of attacks on local and foreign journalists at the hands of State and non-State actors since the onset of the demonstrations.
On Monday, 27th March 2023, the first day of the demonstrations this week, the Council documented 20 cases of attacks, harassment and arrests. Today the number has risen to 25, with some of those affected suffering serious body injuries.
The most targeted are camerapersons and photographers who have been targeted by the perpetrators of acts of hooliganism and criminality whose interest is to destroy any evidence of their acts captured on camera.
“Journalists are not contestants in the current political processes and it is unwarranted,gross violation of human rights and impediment to democracy to target them, while knowing they have a duty to inform the public on such matters of public interest”, Media Council of Kenya CEO David Omwoyo.
The Council encourages editors and reporters preparing for assignment to prioritise risk assessment while in the field including boarding politicians’ vehicles and wearing appropriate safety gear for protection.
The Council calls upon the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Kenya to order urgent investigations to end this impunity against journalists.
The Media Complaints Commission is legally mandated to handle any grievances against the media and we encourage all to report any complaints to the Commission.